Is There a NJ Aesthetic?

Deena Shoshkes • Jun 14, 2017

Art made in and about NJ often celebrates the weirdness of the ordinary and the strange beauty of the industrial landscape. It can be very homey, unpretentious, and not trendy.

An artist in NYC is on an international stage and must work hard to prove themselves outrageous in one way or another - brilliant, ambitious, brash, cutting edge or hyper-conceptual in a highly competitive field.

However, in NJ it’s possible to make art or music on the fringe and find a home in a NJ scene. It’s a place to develop and nurture creativity. What we lack in the stimulation one finds in NY, we make up for in the depths and intensity of the ordinary. (Much art made here explores that. Think of how NJ is portrayed in films like “Clerks” and “Garden State” and the paintings of Tim Daly, and the music of The Feelies.)

There are more than a few websites and radio stations that describe, support and revel in the art and aesthetic of NJ. By their very existence they help define it’s identity Some of my favorites are: